A women’s black blazer is the new little black dress. From Instagram influencers to red-carpet starlets, it seems like everyone is donning the well-fitting wardrobe staple, leaving the rest of us thinking, “Dang, we’re wearing that tomorrow.” 

If the idea of wearing a blazer conjures up images of prep-school uniforms or Capitol Hill politicians, think again. With our super-simple fitting guidelines and outside-the-suit styling ideas, you’ll see that a women’s blazer doesn’t have to be confined to the boardroom.

How Should a Women’s Blazer Fit?

In a word: depends. Blazer styles are as varied as denim cuts. Classic, oversize, vintage, double-breasted, cropped, draped…the list goes on and on, making it nearly impossible to know where to start.

Our recommendation? Begin with the following three guidelines to keep from getting “blazed” and confused. But know that as with most things fashion, rules are meant to be broken, and the more you play with blazers, the more comfortable you will become with trying out different shapes and cuts.

  • The shoulder seam should hit right at or around where your shoulder ends. Anything closer to your neck, and it’s too small; further down your arm, and it’s too big. A good rule of thumb: You want to be able to hug somebody without the seam down the back stretching or ripping.
  • With your arms at your sides, the sleeves should cover your wrists and hit right above the bottoms of your thumbs. Of course, you can always forgo the dimension specifics and opt for sleeves that are a convenient three-quarter length. 
  • Each lapel should cover about half of each boob. And you should be able to at least come close to being able to button the blazer. But if you can’t, don’t fret. No one really wears their blazer closed anyway.

Now that you’ve found the ideal fit, let’s put her to work. 

How to Wear a Women’s Blazer

There’s way more to the blazer than your dad’s church suit. These days, a women’s blazer is about as versatile as a pair of skinny jeans. You can dress it up, dress it down, keep it functional or make it extra.

Here are our favorite ways to style one:

Women's Blazer With Rolled-Up Sleeves

1. With Rolled-Up Sleeves
No, we’re not talking like the sorbet-suited cast of the original Miami Vice. This style is more girlboss-who-can’t-be-bothered-with-ill-fitting-sleeves. Some brands actually stitch up the sleeves to create the illusion, but for those that don’t, just give each arm a double roll to achieve the same look. This can also be a fun way to reveal the blazer’s thoughtful inner lining or the details of the top you’re wearing underneath.

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2. With a Maxi Dress
Don’t pack away those summer maxi dresses just yet. Turn them into transitional pieces by adding your favorite blazer. Feel empowered to mix textures and prints (a two-toned velvet blazer + a silk floral maxi = you know what you’re doing). Further tip: Use the same matching technique with all your jumpsuits.

3. With a White T-Shirt
For an effortless look that goes from cubicle to cocktails, pair your blazer with the most hardworking item in your closet: a white tee. While any style blazer will work, a plaid number — like these from IRO — look especially great with the wardrobe staple, adding a bit of chic to an otherwise casual outfit.

4. With a Pair of Jeans
Leave the suit mindset behind. A women’s blazer goes with everything. And that includes every. single. pair. of jeans in your dresser drawer. No matter if you prefer your denim distressed, cropped, or in its purest, bluest, most rigid form, it will always look OOTD ready with a basic black blazer. We like ALLSAINTS for versatile blazers you can wear again and again.

5. With Almost Nothing Else
Okay, so you may need to channel your inner supermodel (she’s in there) for the courage to rock this look, but we believe in you. Sartorial trendsetters like Emily Ratajkowski, Zendaya and Blake Lively have all stepped out in blazers either paired with a bikini top — or nothing at all. It’s a fierce look that may not be right for the office but is just what the date-night doctor ordered. Pair an oversize, menswear-style blazer from ASTR the Label with a pair of wide-leg trousers, and watch the heads turn.

6. With Leather Pants
Or pleather, no judgments. A pair of smooth and shiny leggings will take a classic houndstooth blazer to the next level. Bonus: It’s also comfortable for a night out. Just add slouchy knee-high boots, a top that looks just as good without the blazer (should you discard it on a dance floor somewhere) and you’re good to go.

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